Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia Kicks off 2024 Arc Season With Rally of Canberra Victory

April 8, 2024

Defending Australian Rally Championship (ARC) champions Harry Bates and Coral Taylor have continued their 2023 winning form, taking out the opening round of the 2024 championship at the Rally of Canberra.

Bates and Taylor started their title defence with a commanding performance behind the wheel of the GR Yaris Rally2 which made its Australian debut on the weekend, after a delayed start which saw Saturday’s racing cancelled due to heavy rain.

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Australia (TGRA) team proved too strong for the competition with Bates and Taylor winning all six stages including the all-important Galvaniize Insurance Power Stage, ending up over a minute ahead of TGRA teammates Lewis Bates and Anthony McLoughlin in second place.

Piloting the new GR Yaris Rally2 for the first time, Bates and Taylor shot out to a 30-second lead after just two stages, extending their lead to 40 seconds by the end of the morning’s racing.

The top two placings mirror the final standings of the ARC in 2023, with Harry and Taylor narrowly edging out brother Lewis and McLoughlin in the final race of the season in the ACT last November.

Harry Bates said the Rally of Canberra proved the perfect start for the TGRA team in their new car.

“Coral and I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the ARC season – our pace was consistent all day, and to deliver that performance all the way through to the Power Stage was a satisfying feeling,” he said.

“Conditions were definitely difficult, however I’ve now spent plenty of time driving in the wet in Canberra which helped deliver this win.

“It was particularly satisfying knowing that the international TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team were watching closely – this is only the third GR Yaris Rally2 chassis that has been built and the first time it has competed in Australia.

“I couldn’t be happier with how the new Rally2 performed, and can’t wait to spend more time with it over the course of the season.”

The GR Yaris Rally2 is Toyota’s first factory-built rally car homologated for WRC2 competition, and is available for customers across the world to purchase for use in WRC2 and national championships.

The 2024 ARC heads west from May 17-19 for round two, with the Forest Rally set to wow spectators over a weekend of thrilling racing based out of the picturesque town of Nannup located in the southwestern corner of Western Australia.